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threat in the air. chinese scientists detected another cause for concern as they investigate the smog that blankets the country. welcome to nhk world "newsline." people in china have been dealing with high levels of pollution day in and day out. they know that the air isn't good for them. now they say that it could trigger serious health problems. researchers at the chinese academy of sciences studied the atmosphere in beijing and tianjin and hebei province.
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they detected particles of an organic compound that generates photo chemical smog. it causes various health problems including eye irration and respiratory issues. chinese people have just come back from the lunar new year holiday. traffic is increasing and factories are once again operating at full capacity. many say they are worried by the situation. >> translator: i have a sore throat already. i know that pollution is serious out here. >> translator: i can't stand going outside without a mask on. >> experts have called for urgent measures to contain the air pollution. they include tightening controls on vehicle's exhausts and equipping factories to remove pollutants from smoke. officials in japan are closely monitoring pollution coming from china. about 150 representatives of local governments and the
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environment industry in tokyo met to set up a task force, planning to share information on the problem and discuss preventive measures. ministry officials said they need more observation points to detect minute pollutants called pm 2.5. they are found in exhaust and factory smoke. the ministry is drawing up guidelines on protecting people's health if the density of pm 2.5 rises. >> translator: it's close to china. people there are increasingly concerned about the issue. we want the central government to discuss the matter and clearly show us the results as soon as possible. >> authorities in tokyo and osaka have started to provide pollution data online. naval officers from mainly asian pacific countries have gathered in japan to discuss security it is aimed at promoting mutual understanding in the region. on monday 15 officers took part in an opening ceremony at japan's maritime staff college in tokyo. they represent 15 countries,
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including japan, the u.s., south korea, china, and australia. the director of the college's research department says he hopes they can discuss each nation's participants and a way to building a regional security framework. he also commented on china's presence at the event. >> translator: china's participation has great significance, considering the timing of the meeting. >> relations have soured over a territorial dispute. china denies the clang. experts with japan's nuclear regulator have thrown another wrench into plans to put power plants back online. officials have been looking at six complexes to see if they're stable. they found the one near the village of higashidori may be sitting on active faults. we have the report.
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>> reporter: the regulators dug into the ground. they found volcanic ash. they concluded that something under foot was not stable. they say two faults could be active. the plant's operators have a different view. they say cracks around the foot were caused by ground water. the experts say there's little evidence to support that view. >> translator: we don't have a thorough explanation from the utility. we'll have to listen to what they have to say. >> reporter: the regulators say they may need to check the structure of the plant and they may ask managers to review measures to protect the plant against earthquakes. those findings could keep the plant offline for some time to come.
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operators say they will conduct another additional survey of their own. >> translator: we would like to confirm through our geological research that there is no active fault under the plant. >> reporter: experts say the plant on the sea of japan coast may also be sitting atop active faults and they are looking at four other nuclear facilities. 48 of japan's 50 commercial reactors are still offline. the people who run the plants are working hard to prove they are safe but the latest findings suggest restarting some of them may prove to be more difficult than some thought. nhk world, tokyo. the jury is still out whether faults pose a threat to the country's only two operating reactors. geologists are preparing to dig some more at the nuclear plant in central japan in the hope of
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finding more conclusive evidence. experts from the nuclear regulation authority have twice since november examined trenches at the plant. they remain divided over whether fishers found at the site are acti iive faults or the results landslides. they asked the plant's operator to dig a new trench. engineers say they will inspect underground layers and report their findings by mid-july. the regulators say they're ready to order a shutdown of the plant if the presence of an active fault is confirmed. thousands of people waiting to go home. tons of debris waiting for disposal. vast tracts of land awaiting to be restored. overcoming the challenges of japan's 2011 disaster won't be easy, but step-by-step, people are moving forward.
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find out how on "the road ahead" every wednesday at 1:00 p.m. japan time right here on "newsline." pakistanis are calling on their government to put an end to sectarian violence in the country. we have the details. people in pakistan are speaking out against sectarian violence, following a bombing which killed 85 people. as anti-shiite violence surges, people are calling on government to take action. we have the report. >> reporter: thousands of people have staged protests in several cities in pakistan. they are demanding military action following the sectarian killings of shias. >> our request is that we want the army -- the army should come here and target operations should be started. >> reporter: the weekend bombing
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killed 85 people and wounded around 170 others near a market in quetta. home to many shias. a sunni militant group has claimed responsibility. they regard shiites as pagan. the same city was hit by another attack on january 10th which killed about 100 people. the same group claimed responsibility for this attack targeting shias. a local human rights group says more than 400 people were killed in sunni terrorist attacks last year, the highest number of fatalities on record. violence against shia muslims does not account for all of the recent acts of terrorism in pakistan. terrorists attacks are also carried out by separatist groups and the pakistani taliban.
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the largest extremist group in the country. the pakistani estimate that 40,000 people have been killed in terrorist attacks in the country in the past decade alone. pakistan is gearing up for the general elections scheduled to take place in may. there is strong opposition from the public who demand stronger measures against terrorism. nhk world, islamabad. >> we have another story from pakistan. a deadly attack hit the city of peshawar in northwestern pakistan on monday. the target the office of the top political official for the khyber tribal area, a major sanctuary in the country for militants. two explosions of gunfire were heard where tribal officials and members of political parties
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were gathered for talks. at least five people killed and seven injured. pakistani officials suspect that the attackers were wearing police uniforms at the time. there was no immediate claim of responsibility following the incident. the united states and six asian countries are participating in an annual joint defense exercise hosted by thailand. it is the largest such exercise in asia. as a multinational effort, its focus reflects current state of the world. we have the report on the implications. >> reporter: american and chinese officials have meetings over the joint drill. other countries are also joining.
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a total of 13,000 troops are participating. this military exercise comes in the wake of the hostage crisis in algeria for the reason the participating countries are focusing on rescuing their citizens. japanese self-defense forces joined u.s. forces to practice the emergency evacuation and transportation of japanese nationals. the algeria hostage crisis last month ended with ten japanese nationals dead. japanese accounted for the largest number of foreign fatalities in the incident. in the drill, participants pretended japanese -- overseas company workers and their families were in immediate danger. about 100 people, played the
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part of evacuees. they were transported by u.s. helicopters to a safe place. >> translator: i think the drill was very useful, because it was based on a likely situation. many japanese nationals are living all around the world today, despite the unstable global situation. >> reporter: it's now in its 32nd year. in this year's installment, personnel from myanmar are participating as observers for the first time. during its formal military government, myanmar strengthened its ties with china. myanmar joining a u.s.-led military operation is a sign of a new trend. >> they're one of many that come and observe and very, very
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important because we're going to need participating nations throughout the region to be able to deal with the different levels of crises that's going to happen somewhere in the future. we welcome their observation. we welcome their participation. it's a step in the right direction. >> reporter: the united states hopes to keep china in check as it establishes stronger security ties with myanmar. nhk world, thailand. and that wraps up our bulletin. i'm dhra dhirakaosal in bangkok. honda engineers have come up with a way to make vehicles lighter and more fuel efficient.
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they've melded the hardness of steel with the lightness of aluminum. honda officials unveiled the sample made with the technology. they say one key is the way the two metals are folded. the technique also relies on special adhesives. the resulting plate is lighter than steel and cheaper than products made just with aluminum. company representatives say the new method can be used on parts such as door panels and a car's trunk. that would shave around 20 kilograms off a vehicle's weight. honda plans to use the technology in a new model set to go on sale in the united states next month. honda isn't the only carmaker that's trying to make lighter cars. others both in japan and overseas are also pursuing the same goal. last year, japan's suzuki motor rolled out a mini car that's about 70 kilograms lighter than the previous model. suzuki reduced the use of regular steel and instead employed high tensile strength steel for the body of the new model.
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bmw plans to release an electric car and other models in japan next year. they use carbon fiber for much of their bodies. carbon fiber is lighter than steel. experts say the key to winning the race to produce lighter vehicles lies in their safety, competitive prices and better driving performance. the yen's retreat has caught the attention of investors in many parts of the world. some asian investors say the weak currency makes japanese real estate seem like a good buy. nhk world reports from singapore. >> reporter: as japanese yen becomes weaker, asian private investors are now paying attention into japanese properties. more than 100 investors attended the seminar here on japanese properties. they were invited by major japanese and u.s. property firms. the presenters focused on two apartment buildings in central tokyo. both are brand new.
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some units cost more than $1 million. some people in the audience decided to buy on the spot. one investor snapped up five apartments. a total of 65 units were for sale. at the end of the event organizers had deals for about 40% of them. >> we thought it was a good time to get into the japanese real estate market since the yen is weakening quite a bit. >> reporter: investors like these say japan's real estate market is a relatively safe bet. they see little risk that properties will lose value. that's because prices have been hovering at low levels for nearly 20 years. >> southeast based asia
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investors, they tend to be more mid, long-term based investors, which do not look for quick gains. and i think there is a lot of hope and expectation that japan economy will finally start to improve. >> reporter: property company officials plan to hold more seminars. they hope to convince more asian investors to buy in japan. potential buyers say one consideration is whether the yen's weakness will continue. they are also watching for signs of pickup in the japanese economy. nhk world, singapore. australia is a nation of immigrants and active in helping refugees. the nation received more than 10,000 people in need of humanitarian assistance every year over the past decade.
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but the increasing financial burden push the its prime minister to review the generous policy. the move has met with criticism as well as support. it's likely to become a focal point in the upcoming september election to choose federal lawmakers. we have the story from sidney. >> reporter: this refugee from afghanistan, the 19-year-old came to australia by boat in may of 2010 after the taliban killed his brother and sister. the four month journey took him through malaysia and indonesia. then for final week he was packed on to a small vessel with 30 people. he lost 10 kilograms by he arrived at a remote australian island. he took the risk because he saw australia as his only chance for survival. he worked hard to graduate from high school. he hopes to go to university to
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study law. he wants to be able to help others. to him australia is a nation of hope for refugees. >> if i stay in afghanistan i could lose my life forever. now i have the happiest time in my life, like i appreciate australia a lot. >> reporter: but there's a flip side to the country's generous policy. costs have risen sharply. more and horse people arrive hoping to be admitted as refugees. the cost to accommodate them in facilities has risen by nearly four times in the past three years. australia is struggling with a chronic fiscal deficit. cuts are being considered in education and welfare spending. the ballooning refugee related expenditures are increasingly unpopular.
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>> i think that we're a country that should allow people to come in, but i think it should be controlled. >> i don't agree with the people that just buy their way in. getting on boats and paying people $50,000 to do so. >> reporter: after a major shift in the handling of refugees like august the support for the prime minister has plummeted. her government decided to fund the neighboring countries to build shelters for incoming boat people. previously the refugees screening process was usually complete within a year. but under the new policy it's open ended for people waiting outside the country.
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some have given up and returned home. the administration has made a commercial to discourage potential refugees. >> you don't get an advantage because you've got on a boat. >> no advantage. boat arrivals will not make it to australia. no advantage. >> reporter: the internet version of the ad has been posted in seven languages. but a new policy has started to draw criticism from the opposition. the liberals call it inhumane to put the displaced people in misery for an extended period of time. >> we want to be a country which shows compassion towards refugees. >> reporter: in contrast, some conservatives are calling for a harsher policy that would allow the deportation of boat people. australia is reeling from the gap between the humanitarian aspects and the economic costs of protecting refugees. the wet and cold continues in tokyo. rachael ferguson has the details. >> hi there. yes, there is cold air across much of eastern asia, japan included in that. we've been seeing a bit of a drizzly day in tokyo and rain across much of the country.
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a little bit of snow up towards the north and also snow back in across the continent. shanghai will be experiencing significant snow about 10 centimeters is possible and going to be that really heavy wet kind of snow. further to the west it will be rain rather than snow. the precipitation will be going on for the better part of the work week. temperatures falling here. we'll take a look at those in a second. i want to point out this area of heavy rain moving across the philippines. this is a tropical depression. it is bringing significant rain, certainly enough to cause problems with flooding, landslides and mudslides will be high risk. look at the temperatures then. 11 degrees in chongqing. shanghai, 4 degrees here.
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we'll see an improvement over the week. should be back up to 10 degrees by the weekend. all right. on we go into the americas. out west it is quiet. a lot going on in the east and over towards the plains as well. there's a winter snowstorm. now this one is moving towards the great lakes here. you can see about 25 sent meters, the heaviest of the snow will be in southern ontario. and then further along this cold front stretching down towards the gulf coast, this is going to be thunderstorms. there will be rain as well. the rain is not going to be so heavy. but it is falling already on saturated land. that means we could see flooding in lower lying areas, too. i'll give you a closer look at exactly what's going to be happening here across the midwest. we have this snow, heavy snow there indicated by the darker gray across much of ontario. then severe weather stretching all the way down across from texas to alabama and up further towards illinois as well. so we got quite a lot to deal
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with here on your monday. in terms of your temperature, well, you'll see a big drop here, more than 10 degrees across quite a wide area, particularly here across the upper midwest. chicago, 8 degrees for you on monday. falling to a high of only minus 6 on tuesday. that's the forecast. all right. we're going to head into europe here and take a look at what is going on. as far as the winter has been so far, well this is pretty quiet, in fact. there is snow to be found here across the northern tier. most of it is going to be fairly light. it will be persistent. then look at this dry skies from the british aisles right into western russia. there are a couple systems here. this one bringing rain and thunderstorms across the balkans and italy as well. and then over in the southwest, there is going to be a little bit of a persistent system here impacting you in spain as well as portugal. here are your temperatures. 7 degrees in london as well as in paris. but then the temperatures drop away as we head in towards central europe. 2 degrees in vienna.
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3 in berlin. minus 5 for the high in moscow with minus 4 in kiev. here's your extended forecast.
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visitors to a city office near tokyo are enjoying a
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display of imperial elegance in miniature form. hina dolls represent members of the nobility. the dolls are the centerpiece of a festival every march. families set them out as a way to pray for good health for their daughters. craftsmen in the city have been making the dolls for nearly 400 years. residents collected more than 1800 dolls from all over the country. they are displaying them to draw attention in visitors. the dolls at the top are seven meters off the floor. >> translator: they reach right up to the ceiling. they are amazing. >> translator: it's wonderful to see something big like this. >> the dolls will be on display until march 9th. we're back in 30 minutes with more of the latest. i'm gene otani in tokyo.
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Newsline 30min
KCSMMHZ February 18, 2013 6:00am-6:30am PST

NEWSLINE updates viewers with the latest hard news every hour, covering world events and business-related news, as well as providing global weather forecasts.

TOPIC FREQUENCY China 9, Tokyo 9, Australia 9, Nhk 6, Pakistan 6, Honda 4, Myanmar 4, U.s. 3, Thailand 2, Japan 2, United States 2, Algeria 2, Afghanistan 2, Europe 2, Singapore 2, Shanghai 2, Newsline 2, Americas 1, Asia 1, Taliban 1
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